Today is the Monday of all Mondays because it’s the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!
Yep, by the time you finish reading this sentence I’ll probably have already greeted all my new little first graders and started to conquer this slightly chaotic-nerve wracking-yet seriously exciting-whirlwind of a day. I’m getting exhausted just thinking about it! Any other teachers out there?? You totally catch my drift.
But we’re going to end our conversation about school there (because I’m writing this post on Sunday and I’m trying not to think about tomorrow anymore) and talk about the reason we’re really here today—- THESE BURGERS.
If that’s actually what we can call them…. because they’re not really burgers, but they’re on a burger bun, so it’s fine 😉
I got the idea for these Crispy Polenta Burgers from this awesome restaurant we have here in downtown Durham called Bull City Burger & Brewery. Of course, most of their menu is highly meat-based (but it’s all free-range and grass-fed, so I thought that was pretty fantastic), but they have this Farmer’s Market Polenta Veggie Burger on tap every time I come and it’s literally one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten between two pieces of bread!
But I always forget about polenta. Like when I’m planning out my meals for the week, polenta is never something that just jumps into my mind as an “I need to eat this immediately” kind of thing. But when I do have those magic moments/ cravings, I’m always kicking myself for not making it more often.
And these burgers are no exception to that.
So we start by making your traditional polenta (cornmeal, broth, a little butter, salt and pepper). Then, to turn them into burgers, I pour it on a parchment lined baking sheet, smooth it out into a 1 1/2” thick rectangle and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Once it’s chilled and firm, I cut the polenta into squares, baste with some olive oil, and stick it in the oven to get nice and crispy.
To take these polenta burgers over the edge, I decided to top them with some fresh basil cashew pesto (but you can use any kind) and some roasted summer veggies (because we’re milking every last chance we can get to eat them before they’re gone).
As soon as I took my first bite of this burger, I was beyond hooked! That crispy, creamy bite of polenta mixed with the warm, garlicy pesto and the tender roasted veggies— now that’s my kind of burger! It’s literally different from ANY meat-less burger I’ve ever had. Such a great way to change things up every now and then.
So the next time you’re craving a veggie burger, I totally recommend giving these babies a go. They’re a little time consuming, mostly because of the refrigeration step, but I promise you they’re worth that extra bit of love!
Now let’s go rock this first day of school— and celebrate with burgers once we’re done!